With Valentine's Day coming up quickly next week, I thought instead of focusing on what cards, flowers, or decorations you should be prepping for the big day, we could jump to something that I believe is the ultimate love language:
Seriously. Those other things are nice, and everyone has their own buzz that gives their relationship the ultimate twitterpated feeling around this time of year. But quite frankly: I don't think anyone should shout about what me or my man should give each other on Valentine's Day (followed with some kind of sponsored ad in the blog post, especially. haha).
We (and you couples out there!) know each other best. You'll know what to do. They're your love, and you've already got this. Do they love roses? Give them roses. Do they like going to a sports game? Bam. Let's find some tickets. Do they just want to have a night in with absolutely no distractions? Done and done. It should be simple! There shouldn't be a guide to Valentine's Day gifts, or how you decide to spend that evening. It should just come naturally, you crazy love birds.
On the other hand, though, I safely think there is something everyone could enjoy on Valentine's Day with their loved one: I've yet to meet a couple that doesn't like to eat together. Food is something that people can enjoy together, experience together, savor together, no matter what. Enjoying a simple meal at a restaurant (or at home with your little ones) or even sharing a small dessert together forces the couple to do something that I believe you can't put a price on:
spending time together.
And that, my friends, is what I think Valentine's Day is about. "True meaning of Valentine's Day" if you will. Haha.
If you're like us, and spending Valentine's Day in this year (on the 14th for us, anyways) you're probably on the hunt for something special to serve that evening that won't be too much of a stressful endeavor. I say, make one of your favorites. We used to do fettuccine alfredo, then we moved over to some glazed meatloaves with brown butter mashed potatoes. It's always changing. Make something you both love (and make it together, eh?), and I'm sure everything will be just perfect.
This recipe, my friends, is a winner. If you're looking for something to make, that is extra special and for sure will impress your lover, THIS. THIS. THIS. THIS.
Pork tenderloin is a lovely, lovely, meat. I've never had a bad batch in my life, and each time has been more tender than the last. For this dish, the slow cooker does most of the work - leaving you with more time to dip those strawberries, or heck, even catch the next episode of your favorite show on Netflix. haha.
Before it makes it slow-cooked journey, though, you've got to give it a little love. This rub is a sure-fire way to bring out some of those lovely savory undertones in the tenderloin, and also will add a really fun hint of warm spice to the finished dish.
After rubbing, slow cook it about 6-8 hours, I smothered it in some of the most fantastic glaze you've ever tasted. Next, a quick trip under the broiler to caramelize. After repeating the glaze-broil a couple times, shred that baby with a couple forks. It will FALL APART like a dream. Drizzle with some more of that heavenly glaze, sprinkle with a touch of cilantro and lime, and holy smokes do you have an amazing dinner!
Hope you're all having a beautiful week so far - we're halfway through! Come back on Friday (the day I've designated for the sweet stuff), I promise you're not going to want to miss out on this chocolate-dipped recipe. :) xoxo
Slow Cooker Asian Pork Tenderloin
with Ginger Glaze
makes 6 servings
1 T brown sugar
2 t salt
1 t powdered ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t powdered cloves
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t crushed red pepper
2 pounds pork tenderloin
for the glaze:
1/2 C brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/4 C rice vinegar
1/2 C cold water
2 T soy sauce
2 t fresh ginger, mined
fresh cilantro, garnish
lime wedges, garnish
1. In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients together (brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, black pepper, and crushed red pepper). Set aside.
2. Plug in slow cooker, and set on low heat. Place the tenderloins in the slow cooker, then rub the seasonings all over the meat, including the bottom.
3. Pour 1/2 C water in the slow cooker (on the sides, not on the top of the rubbed meat). Place the lid on tight, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
4. Preheat your broiler on low and place an oven rack on the highest setting. Combine the sauce ingredients (1/2 C brown sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, cold water, and soy sauce) in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in minced ginger. Set aside.
5. Prep a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a little nonstick spray. Carefully remove pork from slow cooker and place meat on the lined baking sheet. Brush about half the glaze on the pork (not all).
6. Broil the pork for 1-2 minutes, until caramelized and bubbly. Remove pork from the oven, and brush with more of the glaze, broil again for another minute. Repeat again if desired.
7. Serve with more glaze drizzle, and garnish with lime and cilantro.
Recipe source: the food charlatan (she rocks my socks)